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Proper land use upstream key to ‘taming’ Lake Victoria hyacinth

Dickens Wasonga @PeopleDailyKe

Renewed joint efforts by Kenya and Ugandan governments to curtail the invasion of the hyacinth weed in Lake Victoria will only succeed through sustainable use of the lake catchment area, an environmental expert has said.

Lake Victoria Basin Commission executive secretary Ali Matano said interventions launched by the government are laudable but their sustainability and success will depend on proper land use in the upper catchment area .

He said  10,000 hectares of the Kenyan side of  the lake were covered by the weed as of the start of 2019, which has affected fishing and transport.

Matano said massive tree planting, protection of the riverine and proper farming methods upstream are the answers to hyacinth invasion in the lake.

He said the dredging plan launched last week by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga will help reduce sediments in the lake.

Last Saturday, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila visited Kisumu port and assured residents of plans to revitalise it.